Language Attitudes: the Effect of Language Proficiency and Target Accent
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Previous research has shown that a listener creates an image of a speaker based on their accent (Jenkins, 2007, Bayard et al., 2001). These so-called language attitudes are based on notions of standardness and non-standardness, as well as stereotypes, and can influence relationships and communication. According to previous research, the language attitudes towards different accents may be influenced by the language proficiency of a listener, as well as their target accent. The current study focuses on the language attitudes of listeners whose native language is Dutch, towards different English accents, and answers the question whether these language attitudes are dependent on the English proficiency, as well as the English target accent of the listeners. This is done by means of an online survey containing audio files and attitude-related questions, as well as questions about English proficiency and target accent. The study concludes that, even though some trends can be seen in the overall language attitudes, the language attitudes are not dependent on the English proficiency or target accent of the listeners. The results of the current study provides perspectives for the field of language attitude research, and give suggestions for future research.